Summer Kids Class Instructors

Michelle Aucello is an educator with 26 years of experience. Michelle taught first and second grade in Honolulu, Hawaii for 13 years as well as classes on Early Literacy at the University of Hawaii. Michele also worked with Honolulu Family Magazine as a contributor, blogging about food and crafts and providing educational tips for parents. This past winter Michelle successfully developed  a new program for the GAAC called Little Artists which explores creative projects for preschool children and their parents/caregivers.

Sarah Cheek-Toomey is new to the area having moved from Kalamazoo to Empire in the fall of 2017. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education with a minor in Visual Arts from Michigan State University. She has spent the past fifteen years in public education; most recently teaching elementary art while also serving as the Art Coordinator for Kalamazoo Public Schools.  She earned a Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in 2007 that enabled her to combine her passions of art education and the environment into her everyday work with children. Sarah looks forward to establishing roots in Leelanau County with her husband and two young children while expanding her personal body of work.

Julie Keck has been teaching high school art at Traverse City West High School for nearly fourteen years.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Art from Northern Michigan University in 2002 and received her Masters of Art in Art Education in 2007 from Western Michigan University.  She has been juried into the past two Northern Michigan Regional Juried Art Show held at the Dennos Museum.  She refers to herself as a Jill-of-all-trades being interested in metals and jewelry, sculpture, pottery, photography, drawing, and printmaking.

Nancy Miller is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she earned a bachelor of Art Education. She has taught art to children in summer programs at NMC and GAAC. She has helped to develop GAAC’s pottery program at Thoreson Farm. Nancy continues to explore her own creative interests through ceramics and watercolor painting.

Margaret Weeks is a seasoned art educator with a Master Degree in Art Education from Winthrop University, South Carolina and over 20 years teaching art to students of all ages. Teaching highlights include 11 years teaching elementary art in Charlotte, North Carolina, developing an in-service series for teachers to integrate the visual arts, and 8 seasons on the visual arts faculty at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp.  She is excited to share her knowledge and passion for the arts with GAAC students.